In our classroom, I strive to provide structured activities that are challenging and supportive for all students. However, I also want them to take ownership of their learning. One way I encourage this is for the students to determine ways they can challenge themselves when they have completed an assigned task. My hope was to keep students who finished early engaged. The results have been amazing!
As we began to recognize and celebrate what they were doing, other students began to catch the vision and wanted to be a part of the “challenge” challenge.
For example, students explored ways to challenge themselves in math. They were assigned the task of dividing a three digit number by a one digit number, which is a grade level expectation. Many of them chose to challenge themselves by dividing a much larger number. They were even doing these challenge problems on the bus and at home…and then sharing them the next day at school! 🙂